This is perhaps the most impressive of all the buildings on the Sharia al-Muizz li-din Allah street in Cairo. This building is actually a building of two half’s, divided by a very long corridor. There is a madrasa, a mosque, a mausoleum and a khanqah for sufi’s in this one building. Absolutely beautiful and very imposing indeed. This building was made hundreds of years back by Sultan Barquq, and is quite similar to the other ones along the left hand side of this street.
A reasonably un-prepossessing building entrance, the first time on this street that i have seen this kind of striped stone work which is not just simple plain stripes, but nicely carved in complex shapes.
The minaret is imposing, octagonal in construction with lovely cute little spiral carved pillars. There are three balconies with exquisitely carved railings.
The facade is unusually severe but has these windows high up. Interestingly enough, the windows are of stained coloured glass, but more of that later.
Very tall open bronze doors with geometrically designs on them. There is a very long corridor with a fascinating ceiling with lovely dark ancient wooden beams.
The corridor divides the complex into two, on the right, you can peek through heavily barred windows into the mausoleum.
The mausoleum is an extraordinary building. It is much higher than its width, which gives a very very strange outlook when you walk in. Plus to complicate matters even more, it has huge thick pillars. And then on top of it, the entire inside of the mausoleum is very richly decorated in vertical and horizontal stripes as we will see, which makes the building look even taller.
The ceiling is very richly decorated. With octagonal recesses, gilded. I am sure when this was lit by lamp lights and candles, it would be a magical place.
The tall pillars make the building look even taller. The lamp above the grave is a masterpiece of the lamp maker’s art.
Here is the grave of the Sultan’s daughter Fatima, who is buried in this mausoleum. Very nice airy grave, with a highly carved wooden fence around it.
The style of the windows and the arched doors are similar.
An example of a highly fluted highly polished and highly beautiful column with a decorated top. On the right, i saw this highly carved marble plaque with rows of Arabic writing carved into the surface. I am presuming that its some kind of religious text.
As you come out of the mausoleum, you seen this extraordinary model of the entire complex. Beautiful work and then you can actually see the entire set of buildings. Pretty big place, but understandable when you consider that there were hundreds of students here along with their teachers.
A lovely highly carved marble window.
Crossing over to the madrassah and looking back down the long corridor to the outside. The staircase in the middle is the entrance to the mausoleum.
Gilded and highly decorated domes, with columns.
Looking back at the side areas of the mosque/madrassah, this is where students would sit and learn. The far door is an entrance to the living quarters of the students.
The severely worn steps leading into the mosque, so many feet would have trod these stairs, so many shuffling up to pray to God to answer their prayers and be good men.
There are lovely ironmongery on the windows, and this kind of fine symetrical work was done way back without modern equipment. Beautiful. Here is the slideshow with many other photographs and with higher resolutions.